Masters win keeps title race interesting

Port Lincoln soccer

Lincoln Knights lost to Lincoln City Raiders 1-2

SUNDAY'S early game at Kirton Oval saw Lincoln Knights take on the Lincoln City Raiders, who have managed to find a little bit of form of late, through consistency with their youngsters.

Lincoln Knights set up with no Rhydian Phillips in defence but a strong team nevertheless.

Raiders started with a solid back four including Ramon Dennis at full back, running the ship, with Deven Canty and Corey Stott ever present in midfield.

Raiders had the inconsistent wind in the first half but did not make it count, only coming close once when a great outside of the boot shot from outside of the 18-yard area connected with the crossbar before being cleared away by Knights.

Knights had a couple of good runs, especially through the wings with Luke Frears and Braeden Hammond linking up well.

A ball down the right-hand side of the pitch found Pete Taylor in space and with three to aim for at the far post, the ball was crossed and placed into the roof of the net by Doug Farr.

Despite numerous other chances, Knights could not put the ball in the net and the half finished 1-0.

After the break the Knights had the wind but this was not going to stop the Raiders team playing their game.

Dennis started to play a little higher and mark Taylor in an attempt to stop the balls coming through but this allowed Dean Matthews more freedom and the through balls continued.

Despite a one-sided half, Knights could not find the net and a through ball found the Raiders' Camden Madden at the far post at the right time to slot it home.

The Knights' disappointment was obvious with all of the play and no reward. They pushed on with a break away by Taylor from a long Simon Bates goal kick, only to go one-on-one with the goalie and put the ball wide.

Knights continued to pressure the Raiders' defence, who at times seemed unable to clear the ball, but again Knights could not finish.

With time running out, a breakaway for the Raiders saw a rare mistake in the Knights' defence before contact was made with a Raiders' forward in the box and with the penalty given, it was Canty who stepped up to slot the ball past Bates.

The game was ultimately won with Knights' inability to convert their chances, which will not be helped with Mark Panizzolo out for the rest of the season with a torn calf muscle, and Raiders' belief they could get the result.

The Pizzeria Trieste player of the match went to Dean Matthews.

South Coast lost to Sekol Masters 0-1

Sekol Masters defeated the league leaders, South Coast, by the narrowest of margins to cut the gap to four points at the top of the table.

Knowing that anything less than a Sekol win would see South Coast cruise to the league title, Masters were the more desperate team in the opening exchanges.

It was no surprise Masters had the first meaningful attempt on goal. Kosta Kapnistis saw his partially blocked shot loop onto the crossbar and away for a corner.

South Coast began to settle as they adjusted their midfield line-up. Usual centre back Glenn Thompson pushed into midfield to assist the hard working Kane Ingerson.

Masters had a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring when Jackson Jamieson caused confusion in the South Coast defence resulting in a shot on an open goal for Mick Evenden from outside the penalty area but he was unable to hit the target.

As the match progressed, it was clear the defences were on top and the first goal was going to be crucial.

The ever-reliable Tim Partlow commanded the Sekol defence expertly and at the other end Fergus Thom kept the Masters' forwards quiet.

The decisive goal of the game came soon after the half-time break as Jamieson broke from midfield with the ball and following up his pass he gained possession again to beat a defender on the edge of the penalty box and fire a low shot into the bottom corner.

South Coast tried to respond; Pascal Hess pushed further into midfield to assist the inexperienced forwards but Masters' defence held firm.

Masters had the next chance as Hakan Turkmen saw his low shot from 15 metres rebound off the upright.

Thom then threatened the Masters' goal but his shot was comfortably gathered by the keeper.

South Coast's best chance to equalise fell to Declan Hall but his early shot slid past the upright and out for a goal kick.

Masters held out the South Coast attack in the closing stages, breathing life into the league title race.

For the second time in two weeks Sekol's Kris Kolega was awarded the Pizzeria Trieste player of the match.